Named after the presidential aircraft, the Nike Air Force One was a revolutionary sneaker that’s still deemed one of the best in the industry by many sneaker enthusiasts. The classic low-cut white on white design of the Air Forces is considered the very definition of fresh.
So fresh, that it led many people to become paranoid about how to keep it clean. Here’s everything you need to know about properly cleaning your Air Forces and getting them to look as good as new.
Can you put Air Forces in the washer?
The short answer is yes. You can certainly wash your Air Forces in the washer with a bit of preparation beforehand. However, frequently using the washer to clean them is not recommended as it can lead to a decrease in their overall lifetime for being submerged in water for long periods.
If you’ve got a pair of dirty Air Forces, putting them in the washer is a quick and easy way to get them clean. But before you decide to put them in, you need to first make sure that you’ve taken the shoelaces and any excess amount of dirt off.
Once done, you can simply put them into a laundry bag and wash them using detergent, warm water, and the gentle cycle option.
However, while putting your sneakers into the washer isn’t a bad idea in and of itself, doing it more than a couple of times a year can cause damage to the original shape and materials of the sneaker.
This is why experts generally recommend washing shoes by hand instead of putting them in the washer.
Can Air Force Ones get wet?
Air Force Ones are not inherently waterproof. So, they are prone to get wet if exposed to water or poor weather conditions such as rain and snow.
Since its inception in 1983, Nike has pushed out several different renditions of their classic Air Force Ones. With each variation, the material and the build quality change.
As a result, you’ll find that some Air Force ones such as the Nike Air Force 1 Gore-Tex are better at water resistance than others. However, most variations of Air Force Ones are generally not waterproof and will get wet quite easily.
What temperature to wash Air Forces in?
A wide number of Air Forces nowadays are built out of a combination of rubber and leather materials. As such, washing them at a high temperature can cause permanent damage to them.
So, if you’re putting your Air Forces in the washer, make sure the temperature of the water doesn’t exceed 30o Celsius. Use the cool wash option in your machine if the temperature isn’t specified.
Never put your Air Forces in a hot wash as it can damage the structure of the sneakers and melt the glue that’s holding all the material together. They can also crack and get discolored if you don’t use the right temperature.
How to wash my Air Force Nike white shoes?
Now that we’ve established that you can indeed wash your Air Forces in the washer, it’s time to talk about how. We’ve put together a list of steps that you can follow to wash your Nike Air Force white shoes.
Remove your shoelaces:
The first step to wash your Air Forces is to remove the shoelaces and wipe off any excess dirt using a soft-bristled brush.
Put the sneakers in separate laundry bags along with the laces:
Once the shoelaces have been removed, slide shoe trees inside each shoe to maintain its structure. Then put them in separate laundry bags along with the shoelaces.
Provide a buffer for them:
Before starting the machine, throw in a bunch of old white rags and towels to prevent the sneakers from striking the sides of the drum.
Add detergent and wash using a gentle cycle and cool water:
Add regular detergent and set the machine to “Low-power” or “Delicate” mode for a gentler cycle. Finally, wash them with cool water to prevent damage.
Why do Air Force Ones turn yellow?
The primary cause for Air Force Ones turning yellow is due to Oxidization. It’s a process that occurs naturally when the materials in your sneakers come in contact with the oxygen in the air.
Other reasons for Air Force Ones turning yellow include sweat and dirt getting absorbed into the materials which leads them to lose their original color and appear yellowish.
Your Air Force Ones are bound to naturally start becoming discolored and turning yellow as they are exposed to more and more different elements such as dirt, mud, sweat, etc.
Can you put Air Forces in the dryer?
You should never put your Air Forces in the dryer as it can permanently damage the sneakers. Air Forces are made out of a combination of leather and rubber and held together with glue and stitches. Exposing them to the high temperature inside the dryer will definitely ruin them.
Putting your Air Forces into the dryer after washing them can be tempting but it’s a recipe for disaster. Most sneakers are made out of materials that can’t withstand very high amounts of heat. This is why you should refrain from drying your Air Forces in the dryer at all costs.
Moreover, the tumbling motion can also deform the sneaker’s original shape and cause tears.
Can putting my Air Force shoes in the dryer break it?
The likeliness of your Air Force shoes breaking in the dryer and to what scale mainly depends on your particular pair of sneakers. Most Air Force shoes are built with leather and rubber.
These materials are prone to warping and cracking when exposed to high temperatures and fast spinning motions. As a result, you might notice additional cracks, creases, and tears in your shoes if you put them in the dryer.
The high temperature inside a dryer can also melt the gum that holds everything in place, therefore reducing the overall integrity of the sneakers.
What temperature to dry Air Forces in?
You should always dry your Air Forces close to room temperature. Since the materials used in the shoes are sensitive to heat, it’s not recommended to leave them somewhere very hot.
This not only means that you should never put them in the dryer, but also that you should refrain from placing them directly under the sun. Instead, you should place them under a shade or beside a radiator where it’s close to room temperature.
How to dry Air Forces?
After you’re done washing your Air Forces, follow these steps below to dry them without any further damage:
Use a dry towel to wipe the shoes:
The first thing you should do after pulling your Air Forces out of the washer is to wipe the excess water off with a dry towel. Doing this will significantly reduce the amount it takes to dry them.
Find a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight:
Next, you need to find a well-ventilated area that is out of direct sunlight and close to room temperature. Leaving your shoes under the sun will lead to discoloration and cracking.
So, keep them outside under a shade or place them somewhere under your radiator where it’s not too hot. Make sure that the area isn’t damp as you risk getting fungus or mold otherwise.
Set the shoes down for 24-36 hours:
The last step is to just set the shoes down and wait. Depending on the season and the weather on that particular day, your shoes can take anywhere between 24 to 36 hours to fully dry.
How can I make my Air Force dry faster?
If you’re not exactly a man of patience and want the clean pair of sneakers on your feet as soon as possible, you can use a fan and run it on the highest rep to dry them faster.
Some people have tried to blow-dry their shows using hair dryers but it’s typically not recommended as prolonged exposure to high amounts of heat can be harmful to the shoes.
How do you remove creases from Air Force Ones?
Similar to yellowing, your Air Force Ones are bound to develop creases here and there over several months. You can prevent them to an extent by using shoe trees or purchasing a sneaker shield to protect the structure.
However, to remove already existent creases, follow these steps below:
- Stuff each shoe with clothes, socks, etc.
- Place a damp cloth on the crease.
- Iron the crease in a low setting until it disappears.
In summary, while it’s fine to put your Air Forces in the washer, doing so frequently can affect the overall durability of the sneakers. On the other hand, you should never dry your air forces in the dryer as the high temperature can deform and permanently damage your shoes.